Franklin, TN – With fireworks stands opening throughout Williamson County this week, the Franklin Fire Department is reminding residents that the use of consumer fireworks is illegal in the City of Franklin.
Franklin Fire Marshal Andy King said that the sale of fireworks is also not permitted anywhere in the city, but many vendors set up fireworks stands just outside the city limits. “Many residents don’t realize when they purchase fireworks in the county that they cannot be used in the city,” said King. The city’s 1999 ordinance prohibiting fireworks allows enforcement by the police. Violators may face fines and may be held liable for damages.
King said that consumer fireworks are prohibited because every year they injure thousands of people, most often children and teens, and cause thousands of fires. Despite the dangers, few people understand the associated risks including devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death.
In 2010, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,600 people for fireworks related injuries; 57% of 2010 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 37% were to the head. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-14, with more than twice the risk for the general population.
Nationwide in 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 total structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.
King said the noise created by fireworks is also a nuisance for many residents. “The City of Franklin’s emergency communications center receives hundreds of fireworks complaints in the days before and after July 4th,” said King.
The Franklin Fire Department urges residents to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.
The City of Franklin and WAKM Radio’s fireworks display will start around 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4th and viewing is available at Harlinsdale Farm.
Enter the Franklin Fire Department’s Summer Safety Video Challenge by July 27th for an opportunity to win HUNDREDS of dollars in prizes – including a $500 gift card from Bink’s Outfitters and tickets to see your winning video at The Franklin Theatre! Visit www.franklintn.gov/summersafety for details.